Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's state-run news agency says a former minister convicted on terrorism charges has been released on bail pending a retrial.
Michel Samaha, an ex-minister of information and close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, was convicted by a Lebanese military court on charges of plotting bombings at the behest of Syria. He was sentenced in May to four-and-a-half years in prison.
Surprisingly, the court agreed on Thursday to release Samaha on a $100,000 bail. He was banned from leaving the country pending a retrial.
The move is sure to anger the anti-Syrian camp in Lebanon. Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri called the decision "shameful."
Lebanon, a country plagued by decades of strife, has been on edge because of the war in Syria, which has at times spilled over the border.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.